Read Just Desserts by Mary Daheim Online

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When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and heWhen the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle's Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there'll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess. One of the Brodie bunch would dearly love to sweep the Madame's murder under the rug, however, and that might mean eliminating the nosy Ms. McMonigle as well. But with the help of her one-time beau, policeman Joe Flynn, Judith is determined to rattle the dust off some closeted family skeletons, in order to coax a killer out of hiding before coffee is served....

Title : Just Desserts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780380762958
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Just Desserts Reviews

  • Kasia
    2019-01-16 06:26

    First in the famous Mary Daheim Bed & Breakfast Inn series, this is a must read for cozy mystery lovers because it's a truly delightful experience! There's the perfect atmosphere and ambiance, Inn full of crazy family members with hidden agendas, secrets, affairs - you name it, and all that topped with healthy servings of delicious food, mouth wateringly described through out the book, it was enough to keep me glued to the book but the mystery itself was so entertaining and had so many clues that it was the star of the book.The story reminded me of my favorite type of Agatha Christie mystery; house full of guests/family members who are somehow involved in a murder, but no one knows who did it. Close family ties through marriage and blood make it tougher of a crime to be solved since one of the dear members is the killer, but whom? Widowed Judith is running the Inn with the occasional help of her grumpy mother Gertrude and help from her good friend and cousin Renie and the last thing she needs is a murder on the grounds. When a celebrity couple Otto and Oriana drop in with their grown offspring and other family members, she is pestered for fancy liquors and creative cooking with requests for cream puffs for dessert. All goes well during the family dinner until Madame Gushenka, card reader and entertainer hired by Oriana drops dead mid sentence. Upon closer inspection some truth comes out that shines new light on the crime and people guilty of being related to it. This was such a creative and twisted plot, very original and a total blast to follow.I adore cozy mysteries, they are best savored in one or two sittings, short and sweet they make ma laugh and brainstorm and I rarely figure out the culprit but it's so much fun following the clues - and there are tons here - to see who the killer is. One of the best parts was how zany the Inn guests were! Each was memorable and interesting whether flawed or not and it made for a fun read. The only complaint I have is how the mystery was solved, I felt that the reader never got some of the info and it appeared magically at the end, making sense but something I couldn't catch on my own. I all ready started getting the other books in the series and will read them in order, mmm.. can't wait!- Kasia S.

  • Gizzard
    2018-12-29 09:17

    This book took at least a month to read and I found myself very bored at times. Since it was on my tablet kindle app, I felt the need to finish it. Although the heroine is written to appear a normal woman, she baffled me and in the end, I did not like her too much.Calling another human stupid, to their face or even under your breath..., her past with her husband, her relationship with her mother and how she talks and thinks of her, and then there is the foreshadowing at the end. And the book dragged on forever.The mystery and solution was ok, and of course in these books you must completely suspend reality, but even so, I really dislike books based on complete coincidences. Since first books like tv pilots can be very different than the rest of the series, I'll probably try another if it ends up in my hands (and is free).

  • Julie
    2019-01-09 06:07

    Just Desserts by Mary Daheim is a 1991 publication.This is the first book is the long running Bed & Breakfast cozy mystery series by Mary Daheim. With the thirtieth installment set to release soon, I thought it would be fun to go back to the very beginning to see how far the series has progressed. I will confess that I have been much more diligent in following Mary’s “Emma Lord- Alpine” series, than this one, and I have not read every book in the series, but have skipped around here and there with it. However, I’m familiar with the characters and the set up and it’s always fun to drop in at Hillside Manor Inn from time to time. This first book introduces us to Judith and her cousin, Renie, who end up embroiled in the most unusual murder mystery at the Hillside Manor Inn. To make matters even more uncomfortable, Judith’s former fiancé, Joe, is the lead investigator on the case, which stirs up some painful feelings between them, but could also lead to Joe discovering a huge secret that Judith has been keeping for over twenty years. The mystery in this case is over the top and to say it is implausible in putting it mildly, but at the same time it was fun to see these characters before the series truly developed because it gives me a greater appreciation of the later installments. The author basically jumps right in without giving the reader a lot of background on Judith, Renie, or Joe. We learn a little more about how Joe and Judith’s wedding was thwarted, but not enough to give us an explanation of why the wrong was not righted a long time ago. So, I found this area rather puzzling. However, the trademark quirky characters that drive Judith and Renie crazy are all here, and gets the series launched, although, looking back on it, it was built on a rather shaky foundation. Still, that just goes to show you, it always pays to stick with a series for at least three installments before deciding to stick with it or to let it go. Since these books are quick and easy reads, I think I will read a few more of them in order to get a good solid opinion of the series as a whole before diving into the latest chapter, which releases in April, especially since I’ve only checked in with it sporadically. So stay tuned.

  • FicusFan
    2019-01-04 08:24

    First book in a series. Set in the pacific northwest in a bed and breakfast. Extremely lame.The ambulance attendants determine a person has been poisoned rather than had a heart attack, though there are no symptoms, or anything lying around to deduce that from.The police sequester everyone in the B&B, because of the poisoning, but never check the food, or the liquor, or prevent the remaining guests and staff from eating and drinking. In fact the police join them in eating and drinking.The main character, the B&B owner, and her side kick cousin are busybodies. They are eavesdropping and sneaking around to listen in on their guests in person, and on the telephone, even before there is a murder. Ick.They have a cat that they hope gets killed, a smoking, cranky granny in a walker, and the guests are worse.This was a RL book group read and not a series I will be continuing with.

  • Kimberly
    2019-01-15 08:12

    I couldn't get into the groove of reading this. There were too many characters to keep up with. Maybe I just didn't care enough about them to want to keep up.And what was up with Judith solving the case and Joe being okay with it?

  • MaryAnn (EmilyD1037)
    2019-01-05 08:59

    This is my first read by this author.It is also the first book in her bed andbreakfast mystery series. I give it a 3.5.I liked it enough to continue the series.

  • Barbara ★
    2019-01-08 06:04

    I had major issues with this book. Starting with the main character - what a bitch. She berates and disparages her mother (granted she's a cranky old lady, but she's her mother); she abuses her cat whom she appears to hate; she is rude to her guests.The police work was beyond lame. The ambulance drivers diagnose poison with zero evidence and then the cops proceed to lock the guest in the B&B and proceed to eat and drink the food. The cop keeps all the guest sequestered together before he questions them. Yup that's definitely how it works in the real world. The cops even move into the inn as well. WTH?And solving the crime was just as ridiculous. Judith figures it all out but unfortunately it's all supposition with not a lick of evidence. If Judith hadn't been attacked in her car, they wouldn't have even been able to arrest the "murderer".And what kind of car actually has a stereo that can record? I've never heard of such a thing in my life. How convenient and not even remotely believable. Definitely not a series I will be continuing.

  • Audrey
    2019-01-14 05:12

    This started off with a style similar to a culinary mystery series, such as those by Isis Crawford or Joanna Fluke. At first I thought it was better-written than those, but it went downhill quickly. The characters are flat and too unremarkable to easily remember who is who among the secondaries, the plot quickly spiraled into the bizarre, the little love story somehow managed to be both overly sappy and underdeveloped at the same time, and it utterly failed to be gripping. This is probably the first murder mystery I've ever read in which I really didn't care who did it. Two starts because the book does get off to a halfway decent start. But I won't be reading the rest - especially since, unlike bad culinary mysteries, they don't even have recipes to redeem them.

  • Abigail
    2018-12-25 06:17

    What an interesting start to a series! I have been looking for a new mystery series for a while, and this is the most appealing by far. The dialogue was witty and enjoyable, although at times it sounded as if Judith and the detective were from another era... It was not a perfect plot, but it had curious twists and turns that were fun to follow, and the cast was certainly a crew of characters and caricatures. Ms. Daheim takes the time at the end of the book to tie up the loose ends and fill in any blanks left by incomplete leads, which is a rarity among cozy mysteries - either because unfulfilled leads are simply forgotten or the plot never reaches that level of complexity. I hope the rest of the series is as enjoyable!

  • Audrey
    2018-12-26 08:20

    A great example of how some really solid series have a less-than-stellar debut. There was some seriously wtf-y policework going down along with Herculean leaps of logic and cat abuse, but I did like that Joe Flynn appears to be the only cop in recent crime fiction memory who doesn't get obsessed with a case but is all OH HEY FIVE O'CLOCK DONE NOW. Then lets Judith solve everything for him. Speaking of which, I was not at all happy to see Judith letting everyone browbeat her into a tiny pulp. Several people in this book needed a sharp slap, or at least a word upside the ear. But Renie is in lovely fine form here too, so all was not lost.

  • Melissa
    2019-01-01 09:18

    This is my first book my Mary Daheim and I had a really hard time getting into it. Too many secondary characters are introduced quickly with little to separate them, so throughout the book I was struggling to keep people straight. It was so convoluted when they finally revealed the murderer I had to stop and think about who that person was in the story.The main character, Judith, was so unlikable. She was nasty to her mother and her cousin who was helping her out. I don't really care what happens to Judith.Sadly, I do own some of the later books, but I'm not sure if I'll be reading them or just getting rid of them.

  • VJ
    2019-01-17 06:14

    Again, this is a series where I read books out of order. I think this author gets better with time, but this was a passable first in a series novel. Each book stands alone, but the characters develop throughout the series. I found this book mildly amusing without going overboard or falling into using contrived coincidences to further the plot. The author so eloquently captured the arrogance of the wealthy residents in a small town setting and threw in just enough local color and plot twists to make an interesting read. If you like cozy mysteries that aren't contrived or if you enjoy a bit of meddling coupled with some dumb luck...you will like this author.

  • Linda Smatzny
    2019-01-02 04:04

    This is the first book in the Bed - And - Breakfast Mystery series. The main character is Judith McMonigle who runs a Bed & Breadfast out of her family home. She is just starting her business so when a murder occurs she wants answers fast. The police detective investigating the murder is a former boyfriend which brings up feelings she would rather forget. I really enjoyed the characters and can't wait to read more adventures featuring them. It was a fast easy read.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-01-12 05:17

    I found the characters kind of hard to keep straight, they were all introduced rather quickly, but the story was quirky and enjoyable to read. A fortune teller, hired by the wife/mother of the family ends up dead at a night being spent in a B&B as the family mansion is being fumigated. There are no shortages of candidates for who done it. An easy read.

  • Kim
    2019-01-15 05:21

    A fun, little mystery. I enjoyed it even more so because my supervisor is dating a man named Joe Flynn. The primary police officer in the book is named Joe Flynn.

  • Monica
    2019-01-07 09:00

    Started reading didn't like the main character.

  • Lana
    2018-12-29 06:05

    Not enough depth into main characters-could not bond with them or even get to know them.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-20 08:00

    This was fast paced, but a little overwhelming for a first book in a series. There were too many characters that were all sleeping with each other. I had a hard time of keeping track of who went with who. Add in the fact that Dash had a bunch of different names, and it was a bit much. That aside, I enjoyed the story. I was unsure of who the murderer was as every person in the family was horrible. I am not sure how I feel about Joe; I would like to know WHY he ran off and married someone else 2 weeks before her and Judith were supposed to go to Mexico and why is he leaving his wife now? I will be reading more of this series.

  • Beverly
    2019-01-10 05:00

    Judith McGonigle is the owner and operator of Hillside Manor, a bed and breakfast, in Seattle, Washington. When there are two cancellations Judith had two choices. One was to put up wallpaper that she had been promising herself she would do and the other was to take in the Brody family who were having their house fumigated. She decided she needed the money the Brody's would pay more than the walls needed to be papered. She would soon come to regret that decision when a mysterious guest ended up dead in Judith's dining room.

  • Briana Alzola
    2019-01-10 06:21

    I feel like it's hard to rate something when it's sort of exactly what you expected but you didn't go in expecting much. This is a fun story, full of quirky characters, but it's not one I will recommend to other people nor did it inspire me to read more in this series.

  • Elizabeth Oster
    2019-01-14 06:22

    Great read!!I love this book!! This is second time reading it and it was just like first time. The plot has a lot of twists and turns!! If you love mysteries you have to give this one a try!!

  • Roxie (the cat lady)
    2018-12-28 06:58

    Fun and light read. Starts off fast and keeps you interested. If you love cozies this one is for you. Had me laughing a couple times.

  • Liz
    2019-01-14 03:24

    No a favorite. Just a little too melodramatic.

  • Janell
    2019-01-12 04:24

    Enjoyable mystery, although a little far-fetched. ;) The characters have promise, though, which is a big plus!

  • The Badger
    2019-01-10 09:12

    I have an affinity for cozy mysteries. They generally aren't written in pursuit of a spot on the bestseller list; rather, cozies are written to give the reader a sense of comfort and calm (ironically, by way of murder). My mom read cozies to escape her three eccentric young daughters and grumpy husband: one daughter, the artist, painted five-foot tall green flowers on the side of the freshly painted rental when she was four; the adventurous daughter asked which way north was, and was found by neighbors five hours later walking up the beach, wearing a backpack, in pursuit of Santa in the North Pole (we lived on an island--she wasn't the brightest of the three of us); and the oldest daughter (that would be I) caused her first-year kindergarten teacher to quit by demanding that all classroom toy soldiers and toy weapons be removed from the classroom so that her classmates would not become violent adults, and that the teacher immediately stop smoking on her breaks because she would surely die of lung cancer. As to my mother's husband, he had some strange notion that feeding 40 stray cats, a stray goat, a duck, and 4 turtles (not stray) out of a 2-bedroom apartment was odd. He also became irrationally upset when the cat gave birth in his shoe. So you see, for my mother, it was either read a cozy or drink (or possibly dispose of the children and husband). Years later, when my grandmother came to live with us (bigger house, different country, revolving pet door, dad retired and usually lost in Best Buy, girls now goth, theater geek, and raver) we slowly replaced her true crime books with cozies in order to keep her from roaming the house at night after taking her pain pills, looking for the Son of Sam whilst armed with a shoe horn.And all this is how I came to read cozies myself, because they were always there to help me escape my crazy family, you could carry on a screaming match with a sibling and not miss much in the book, and thanks to grandma's Dahmer intervention, there were always a shitload in the house. (Serious reading was done away from the insane people.)I have an affinity for cozy mysteries. They generally aren't written in pursuit of a spot on the bestseller list; rather, cozies are written to give the reader a sense of comfort and calm (ironically, by way of murder). My mom read cozies to escape her three eccentric young daughters and grumpy husband: one daughter, the artist, painted five-foot tall green flowers on the side of the freshly painted rental when she was four; the adventurous daughter asked which way north was, and was found by neighbors five hours later walking up the beach, wearing a backpack, in pursuit of Santa in the North Pole (we lived on an island--she wasn't the brightest of the three of us); and the oldest daughter (that would be I) caused her first-year kindergarten teacher to quit by demanding that all classroom toy soldiers and toy weapons be removed from the classroom so that her classmates would not become violent adults, and that the teacher immediately stop smoking on her breaks because she would surely die of lung cancer. As to my mother's husband, he had some strange notion that feeding 40 stray cats, a stray goat, a duck, and 4 turtles (not stray) out of a 2-bedroom apartment was odd. He also became irrationally upset when the cat gave birth in his shoe. So you see, for my mother, it was either read a cozy or drink (or possibly dispose of the children and husband). Years later, when my grandmother came to live with us (bigger house, different country, revolving pet door, dad retired and usually lost in Best Buy, girls now goth, theater geek, and raver) we slowly replaced her true crime books with cozies in order to keep her from roaming the house at night after taking her pain pills, looking for the Son of Sam whilst armed with a shoe horn.And all this is how I came to read cozies myself, because they were always there to help me escape my crazy family, you could carry on a screaming match with a sibling and not miss much in the book, and thanks to grandma's Dahmer intervention, there were always a shitload in the house. (Serious reading was done away from the insane people.)

  • Annie
    2018-12-30 10:23

    (Technically, this was not the first cozy mystery book I've read before I learned of the genre. I read a later title first so I was clueless about the entire series, and then I began seeing the previous titles on sale, so I bought them, though not in order.)As with first books, they should be written so well that you'd be hooked and anticipate the later stories. Just Desserts was indeed that. What I find interesting about Mary Daheim's books is that even if you did not read the first book, you'd know who Judith, Renie, Joe, Gertrude and Arlene are. And Hillside Manor (and the bed-and-breakfast business) was featured so well that I felt it was also an important, though inanimate, character in the story. I like how Mary Daheim fleshed out her ensemble of suspects. Everyone looked guilty - they lied, they all had opportunities have weak alibis, and they had a million motives to commit the murder. That, or a total stranger committed the crime as a weird twist. Those were my thoughts as I was reading. (But because I read a Mary Daheim book already, I kind of had an idea who the real murderer was based on the backstory and the personality, so I kind of cheated with this one, sorry.)What I enjoyed most of all the relationship of Judith and her cousin Renie. They have opposite but complementing personalities; Judith was a people person and has a sympathetic air which made people confide in her (she learned information in this way), and Renie was brash and confident during the times Judith was hesitant, but despite the differences, they're loyal to each other, even with the deepest, darkest secret Judith was carrying. She even had a second chance at love, because after what she'd been through, she deserved it.

  • Maryann Forbes
    2018-12-18 06:57

    I was excited to read this book as I am an avid fan of Mary Daheim's Alpine series; unfortunately I was disappointed. Judith McGonigle is a widow, single mother and sole proprietor of Hillside Manor, her fledgling Bed and Breakfast. Following a cancellation during her slow season, Judith reluctantly agrees to allow the Brodie family to book the Manor for one night as their home is being fumigated. The Brodies are a well known wealthy family yet not highly respected. Mrs. Brodie scheduled an after dinner appearance by Madame Gushenke, a new to the area fortuneteller. She was to tell the family's fortunes and then the terms of Mr. Brodie's will were to be disclosed. Shortly after dessert was served Madame G.was found dead at the dining room table. Enter Detective Joe Flynn, Judith's old flame and it's time to solve the murder. The mystery of the murder is interesting and is what kept me reading the book. The relationship between Judith, her mother Gertrude and cousin and sometimes helper Renie was caustic and fell flat for me. I found the majority of the characters tedious and unlikeable. I remain a Mary Daheim's Alpine series fan, however no more from this series for me. 2.5 stars.

  • Beth
    2019-01-11 10:11

    A cute who-dun-it with a non-police detective who seems to bumble through the solving of the murder mystery.She is the owner of a beginning B&B who is saddled with a cranky mother, a nasty cat and a lovable cousin who is very helpful but always hungry.A guest in her house is murdered, a snowstorm arrives and everyone is required to stay resident until the police catch the murderer and / or the snow lifts. Being the first in a series you get introduced to a variety of characters who all seem to add to the reality of the story. One of the characters is the police detective who is in charge and just happens to be the main characters long lost love (and possibly the father of her son).So some suspense, some romance, some silliness. Light-hearted thoughtful mystery. Fun reading.

  • Emily
    2018-12-22 03:27

    This book is what it is - part of an easy little formula mystery series. I thought the author did a good job creating interesting characters and an intriguing mystery. The only part that bothered me was the newspaper clippings - a police officer brought them, of all of Wanda's effects, to Joe from Wanda's apartment. While they wound up being important, the cop never would have known that. It would have been more likely that the cop would have brought a journal or notes on the Brodies, than some seemingly random clippings that Judith didn't think the police had linked yet. But otherwise I really enjoyed the read, and I loved that there were so many plausible suspects so I was guessing who could have committed murder right until the reveal.

  • Andrea
    2018-12-19 02:12

    First books can be rough. I'm not sure if this is the author's very first book or just the first in this series, but it had some issues. Overall, the mystery and the characters were enjoyable but I agree with other readers who pointed out highly implausible plot points and some that are flat out impossible (seriously, can anyone point me to a car stereo cassette deck with a record function??). However, some issues aside, I still enjoyed this journey and liked the complex backstory between the B&B owner and the local cop. I'm willing to give this series another two or three books before calling it one way or the other.